Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Good Old Days

March 29, 2010

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Item in the Idaho Statesman from January 14, 1900:

"Miss Beryl Davis of Meridian led discussion on 'Why Children are not Reading?' at the Ada County teachers meeting in Boise."

(Yes, that's 1900--110 years ago.)

February 23, 2010

Although texting while driving seems to be a new low in cluelessness, inattentive driving is hardly a new problem.

This gem appeared in the Idaho Statesman on January 2, 1938, courtesy of the National Safety Council:

A "Daffy Drivers" cartoon shows a car in a river with a woman saying to her husband, "Fold your road map up now, Oscar--our trip's over!"

The caption says, "WATCH THAT ROAD! Yes, brother, you might as well fold up that road map and head for home. You thought you could watch the map and the road at the same time. ...Mister, it's a fundamental of the safe driving code that you keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the steering wheel and your mind on the job of getting there safely."

Guess things haven't changed all that much.

January 13, 2010

Today’s crossword had an Ovid quote: “Let others praise ancient times, I am glad I was born in these.” I wonder what the “good old days” were in Ovid’s time? I wonder if he wrote down some examples?

And that brings me to some more ancient wisdom. I was thumbing through Hesiod, and found the following gems:

Invite your friend to dinner; have nothing to do with your enemy. Invite that man particularly who lives close to you. If anything, which ought not to happen, happens in your neighborhood, neighbors come as they are to help; relatives dress first.


When you deal with your brother, be pleasant, but get a witness…

Do not let any sweet-talking woman beguile your good sense with the fascinations of her shape. It’s your barn she’s after.
And for all that we hear about people having such short life-spans back in those days, he advises:
And have a forty-year old man, still young enough to follow the plow… such a man will keep his mind on his work and drive a straight furrow…

Thirty is about the right age to marry, he says.

He has a lot of guidelines on when to plant, when to plow, when to do just about everything. Clearly a man who was interested in details.

I just love this stuff.

January 2007

1. Remember when Mini-Golf courses used to actually have moving parts that demanded skill and timing? When my sisters and I were growing up we had to shoot through the moving arms of a windmill one one hole, then put the ball into the empty space of a moving mill wheel on another. There were also other challenges.

Now the golf course makers throw in a few doglegs, then RAISE THE LIP OF THE HOLE so that it's difficult to make the ball roll in, and call that a challenge. I call it lame.

2. I saved all the articles from the first mission to Mars back in July of 1976. I like going back and reading about how they hoped to find out if there was life on Mars by August. There was also a prediction that we'd be on Mars by 2005.

I love the optimism those articles showed, I really do. It sort of makes me feel like we were all wide-eyed kids for a change, instead of cynical scientists, reporters and citizens.

3. Remember when Superbowl commercials were fun?

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